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Intoxication defense strategy in New Jersey

When people are charged with certain offenses, one possible defense could be that they were legally insane at the time due to intoxication. In the event that an individual claims that he or she was involuntarily intoxicated, it could be used as a full defense to a crime committed while impaired. In some cases, there is the possibility of seeking an acquittal even in the case of voluntarily intoxication.

For instance an individual who blacks out while drinking may not remember committing an offense or understand right from wrong while committing it. If a crime was a specific intent crime such as burglary, that could be used as an affirmative defense. However, for a general intent crime such as rape, intoxication is typically not a valid defense against a charge.

Individuals may also claim that they were not aware that a small amount of alcohol would significantly impair them. This is called pathological impairment and is considered to be involuntary intoxication. For instance, an individual may suffer an allergic reaction to gin that unexpectedly caused him or her to become intoxicated after one shot. This would qualify as pathological intoxication from a legal standpoint.

Those who are charged with criminal offenses may face penalties such as jail time, a fine or probation. However, an attorney may be able to craft a defense to a charge such as claiming that a defendant was involuntarily intoxicated. This type of a defense strategy may provide enough leeway to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor. This could reduce the possible penalties that a defendant may face or eliminate them altogether.

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